As the world mourns the death of Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, some are wondering what will happen to his £150m fortune.
The media are circling in on a number of possible inheritors, including his godson, Hudson Kroenig. But one next of kin in particular has caught everyone’s attention: his pet cat.
Read more: Fashion industry magnate Karl Lagerfeld dies
Last year, Lagerfeld told an interviewer that he would be leaving his fortune to Choupette, among others.
Lagerfeld reportedly first met the the Birman cat after agreeing to look after it for a friend. But he grew so attached to the animal that he refused to give her back, later joking that he had abducted her.
“Her name is Choupette, Princess Choupette or Miss Choupette. She’s snow white with touches of caramel around the eyes, ears and on her endless boa-like feather tail,” Lagerfeld told ID magazine when they profiled the feline in 2012.
Lagerfeld had described Choupette his one true love and given her his surname. In 2013 he said that he would marry her if it were legal.
Choupette travelled the world by her owner's side, often appearing at meetings and fashion shows. Lagerfeld designed a collection of accessories after her, called “Choupette in Love”, and her eyes were the inspiration for a haute couture collection by Chanel.
Along the way, Choupette has become a social media legend. Her personal instagram account has 190,000 followers and she has reportedly made more than £2.5m through her modelling career, which includes gigs for Opel cars and various make-up companies.
The feline had gotten used to her fluffy lifestyle, joining Lagerfeld on his private jet. Lagerfeld appointed his pet her own bodyguard, personal chef and two maids, Francoise and Majorjorie, who tended to her every need.
Some have questioned whether the leaving a fortune to a pet has any legal precedence. It could be possible under German law, according to Le Figaro, if Choupette were nominated an heir through an association or foundation.
What will happen to Choupette following her owner’s death in a Paris hospital yesterday is still unclear. But if Lagerfeld’s affection for the feline while he was alive is any indication, she’s likely to continue to live in the lux lifestyle to which she has become accustomed.